Beyond the Pivot: Teaching Reimagined in a Time of Chaos and Uncertainty

On Demand
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: On-Demand

The worldwide pandemic has afforded higher education an opportunity to reimagine its blue sky at a time of considerable uncertainty and change. This reimagining is both urgent and essential and may require educators and students to embrace their own struggle with uncertainty as the sector endeavors not only to move through this time but also to thrive. This session begins with the commonly held belief that education is about teaching and learning and that learning is enhanced through sharing, engaging, igniting, and connecting. It asserts that learning in all modalities should be seen as a process that provides the opportunity to wrangle through the discomfort of uncertainty and “not knowing.” This idea is not novel, but it is a critical challenge for education today as we grapple with concerns over loss—loss of learning, life-changing loss, and the micro-losses that all have encountered and overcome. Furthermore, we must celebrate the easily apparent successes and seek out the smaller, micro-gains that are often minimized or lost entirely. This session will present a pathway to align multimodal course design, human-centered pedagogy, and authentic assessment to help evolve the traditional model of education in favor of student-centric learning that pays careful attention to our students’ needs and realities. 


  • Deborah Margolis

    Interim Dean, Winston School of Education and Social Policy, Merrimack College
  • Kathryn Nielsen

    Associate Vice President, Teaching, Learning + Digital Innovation, Merrimack College